New Testament Prayers

Saturday: The Crucible of Prayer


Introduction

We are so glad you are joining us for these daily prayer posts. Over the next four weeks we are going to listen to the prayers of the Bible, and the saints of God. Their prayers are going to teach us how to pray.

Each devotion will take five to seven minutes of your time.

  1. We will look at an insight from those who know something important about prayer.
  2. We will listen to the prayers of people in the Bible—people just like us. And to people who gained a deep measure of spiritual intimacy with God because they prayed.
  3. We will reflect, asking the same four questions each day that invites us to look and listen with intent.
  4. And we will pray, for it is in praying that we learn to pray. And it is in praying that the Spirit changes our hearts.

May we encourage you to grab a notebook, a journal, something to write on as you do each prayer guide. Yes, it will add a few minutes to the time it takes to do the devotion, and it will also deepen your experience and shape your walk with God for years to come.

Look

In Gethsemane the holiest of all petitioners prayed three times that a certain cup might pass from Him. It did not. After that, the idea that prayer is recommended to us as a sort of infallible gimmick may be dismissed.

C. S. Lewis

Listen

It has been said that the scene at Gethsemane is the most intimate picture we have of Jesus' prayer life. It's an inside look at an emotional conversation within the Trinity – the Son of God pleading with the Father for another way, while simultaneously expressing unconditional trust and submission. Talk about insight into prayer. Let's allow the Spirit to teach us from this remarkable passage.

Matthew 26:36-44

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.

Reflect

  1. Having read the Word, sit silently for a minute and give God’s Word a moment to settle within you.
  2. Re-read the verses slowly and write down some thoughts that resonate with you.
  3. Ask the Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that those thoughts are pointing to. (for example: you may write down, “Jesus prayed for a different way, but He wanted the Father's will more than anything else." The Spirit can help you discern what it is that you want more than anything else.)
  4. What is the one prayer request in your life you would plead with the Father for? In this request, how much do you also desire for His will to be done above all else?

Pray

Jesus' prayer is such a great pattern for us. He doesn't just ask once, but multiple times. Each time He is passionate and clear - in what He is asking for, and what He desires above all else. Let's make Jesus' prayer our own today. Use His words below to spend time talking to your Father about what is most important to you right now.

"My Father, if it be possible, [make your request]; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." Amen.